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Consistent Texan Jones Looks for Homestate Victory on Amistad at Bassmaster Elite Series Season-Opener

Category: press release

 Mar 15th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Mar 15th, 2009 at 12:00 AM

DEL RIO, Texas – While the rest of the leaderboard has shuffled around him, 2008 Bassmaster Classic champion Alton Jones of Waco, Texas, has rode a consistent bite to the top position Saturday at the OPTIMA Batteries Battle on the Border on Lake Amistad with a three-day total of 68 pounds, 11 ounces. Friday leader Gary Klein of Weatherford, Texas, struggled but remained in contention and is Jones’ closest competitor with 66-13.

Over the course of three days, Jones has yet to weigh a bag more than 24 pounds or less than 22 pounds, 4 ounces. His biggest bass tipped the scales at just more than 6 pounds and all of his weighed fish have been in the 4- to 6-pound class. While the big bite has eluded Jones thus far, he said his pattern is as solid as oak.

But Amistad is a fickle fishery and can yield some monster weights. Case in point: Four Elite anglers weighed limits more than 26 pounds Saturday. So, while consistency is nice, Jones is aware that the field of 12 finalists could make a move Sunday in the battle for the $100,000 top prize. And the weather calls for sun which could move the fish shallow, providing anglers with ideal conditions for sight fishing.

“I guess I’m as confident as you can be when you have a field with this much skill,” said Jones, 45. “But consistency has been the name of the game for me and my areas are replenishing. I feel very good.”

Fishing fans can catch all of the on-the-water action from the March 12-15 OPTIMA Batteries Battle on the Border on The Bassmasters, which airs Saturday, March 28, at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN2. The daily weigh-ins, hosted by BASS emcee Keith Alan, for this and the other seven regular-season Elite events and two postseason events will appear live on ESPN360.com, ESPN’s broadband sports network, while a wealth of unique content, including a live leaderboard, photo galleries and more, will also be available at Bassmaster.com.

Jones, who is fast approaching $2 million in BASS career earnings, said his main area is a pathway for post-spawn bass and his milk run includes specific areas that have become premium holding areas for post-spawn fish. While the area has been productive, he feels that the key to his success is the pattern he is running, which he revealed little details about.

Much like Friday, Jones boated all of his fish by 11 a.m. Saturday and used the rest of the day looking for new areas. He feels Sunday’s forecast could help his bite, but he is willing and able to make adjustments if his pattern slows.

“The pattern is definitely the key,” said Jones. “I have been able to duplicate success in a number of areas. I still have some new areas that I haven’t even visited yet so I’m not concerned about a lack of water.”

Klein was oozing confidence Friday after weighing a limit more than 29 pounds, but his jig pattern fell off Saturday. In fact, Klein was without a fish at noon and was forced to move close to the bank and pick up a drop-shot to fill out his limit.

He managed only 12 pounds, 6 ounces Friday, but nonetheless was pleased that he remained in contention.

“I let everyone catch up so I’m a little disappointed,” said Klein, a two-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year. “But this is a humbling sport, and I’m just glad I didn’t let the thing slip away. It’s going to be a one-day shootout tomorrow. I think it’s going to be a crazy day and someone is going to have to catch a lot of weight to pull it out.”

Klein lamented some of the decisions he made Saturday, including spending too much time trying to position his fish around the breaklines. Sunday, the 51-year-old plans to primarily throw a swimbait to entice the biggest bites and mix in the jig, which led to his success the first two days.

Making a charge to third was Jason Williamson of Aiken, S.C. Williamson, 28, weighed the biggest bag of the tournament on Saturday, a 33-13 monster, and put himself in contention. He is looking for his first BASS victory and said he found something special Saturday.

The area that produced his weight was something he located in practice. But the first two days of competition, the area was muddied with the adverse weather conditions. Saturday, the water turned crystal-clear.

“I’m pretty excited,” said Williamson, who finished fifth at the Amistad Elite event in 2008. “It’s an all-day bite and I probably culled another 18- to 20-pound bag from that area. I’m a little wired right now but I absolutely think I can repeat this Sunday.”

Rounding out the top five was Kenyon Hill of Norman, Okla., with 61 pounds, 5 ounces, in fourth while Day 1 leader Mike Iaconelli of Runnemede, N.J., with 60 pounds, 2 ounces, was fifth.

Safely in Sunday’s top 12 cutline was 2007 Bassmaster Classic champion Boyd Duckett (6th) and 2008 Amistad Elite champion Todd Faircloth (12th). Faircloth engineered a dramatic comeback last year on Amistad, surging from eighth place to the top spot on the final day of competition.

The Amistad event marked the debut of the Bassmaster Elite Series Marshals program. Marshals, who took the place of co-anglers, will help enforce tournament rules and ensure the integrity of the highest level of professional fishing. With the introduction of the Marshals program, the Elite Series becomes the only exclusive pro fishing league in the world. Despite the conditions, the Marshal program was at capacity.

Along with the top cash prize, the OPTIMA Batteries Battle on the Border awards valuable points in the 2009 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title race. Sunday’s launch will be at 7:40 a.m. CT at Diablo East Marina, Hwy 90 West, Del Rio. The final weigh-in will begin at 4 p.m. at the marina.

Sunday’s activities include the live taping of Hooked Up, hosted by ESPN Outdoors personalities Mark Zona and Tommy Sanders and BASS emcee Keith Alan. The show, which will air live at 4:30 p.m. ET on Bassmaster.com, will preview Sunday’s final weigh-in.

All events at the Battle on the Border are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit Bassmaster.com. Visit ESPNOutdoorsmedia.com for ESPN’s latest releases, schedules and other news, plus photos, video, audio clips and more.

The local sponsor of the Battle on the Border is the Del Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Sponsors of the Bassmaster Elite Series: Toyota Trucks, Berkley, BOOYAH Baits, Evan Williams Bourbon, Mercury, OPTIMA Batteries, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Marine; Bass Pro Shops, Costa Del Mar, Lowrance, Ramada, SpongeTech and Triton Boats.

About BASS

For more than 40 years, BASS has served as the authority on bass fishing. With its considerable multimedia platforms and expansive tournament trail, BASS is guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications Bassmaster Magazine, BASS Times and Fishing Tackle Retailer and comprehensive Web properties in ESPN360.com, ESPN’s broadband sports network, Bassmaster.com, BASSInsider.com and ESPNOutdoors.com, the organization is committed to delivering content true to the lifestyle. Additionally, television programming on ESPN2 continues to provide relevant content – from tips and techniques to in-depth tournament coverage – to passionate audiences.

The organization oversees the prestigious Bassmaster tournament trail, which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens, Women’s Bassmaster Tour and the Bassmaster Classic, the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing. Through its grassroots network, the BASS Federation Nation, BASS sanctions more than 20,000 events annually.

BASS also offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members while spearheading progressive, positive change on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

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Media Contact: Doug Grassian; (407) 566-2216 or [email protected]spn.com

DAY 3- OPTIMA BATTERIES BATTLE ON THE BORDER STANDINGS

2009 Battle on the Border 3/12-3/15
Lake Amistad, Del Rio TX.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 3

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Alton Jones Waco, TX 15 68-11 305
Day 1: 5 24-00 Day 2: 5 22-04 Day 3: 5 22-07
2. Gary Klein Weatherford, TX 15 66-13 300
Day 1: 5 25-04 Day 2: 5 29-03 Day 3: 5 12-06
3. Jason Williamson Aiken, SC 15 61-10 290
Day 1: 5 16-12 Day 2: 5 11-01 Day 3: 5 33-13
4. Kenyon Hill Norman, OK 15 61-05 285
Day 1: 5 15-00 Day 2: 5 19-07 Day 3: 5 26-14
5. Michael Iaconelli Runnemede, NJ 15 60-02 285
Day 1: 5 27-09 Day 2: 5 15-15 Day 3: 5 16-10
6. Boyd Duckett Demopolis, AL 15 59-08 276
Day 1: 5 21-10 Day 2: 5 25-05 Day 3: 5 12-09
7. Kevin Short Mayflower, AR 15 58-06 272
Day 1: 5 20-04 Day 2: 5 15-12 Day 3: 5 22-06
8. Dean Rojas Lake Havasu City, AZ 15 58-03 268
Day 1: 5 12-15 Day 2: 5 15-15 Day 3: 5 29-05
9. Stephen Browning Hot Springs National Pa 15 57-15 264
Day 1: 5 15-15 Day 2: 5 15-00 Day 3: 5 27-00
10. Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 15 55-09 260
Day 1: 5 19-09 Day 2: 5 17-14 Day 3: 5 18-02
11. Jared Lintner Arroyo Grande, CA 15 54-14 257
Day 1: 5 15-04 Day 2: 5 17-04 Day 3: 5 22-06
12. Todd Faircloth Jasper, TX 15 54-13 254
Day 1: 5 17-00 Day 2: 5 24-03 Day 3: 5 13-10
13. Kelly Jordon Mineola, TX 15 54-06 251 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-11 Day 2: 5 20-05 Day 3: 5 15-06
14. Mike McClelland Bella Vista, AR 15 53-10 248 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 15-12 Day 2: 5 21-07 Day 3: 5 16-07
15. James Niggemeyer Van, TX 15 53-08 245 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-02 Day 2: 5 19-14 Day 3: 5 12-08
16. Mark Tucker Saint Louis, MO 15 52-10 243 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 12-10 Day 2: 5 28-00 Day 3: 5 12-00
17. Matt Reed Madisonville, TX 15 52-06 241 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 23-02 Day 2: 5 16-13 Day 3: 5 12-07
18. Bobby Lane Lakeland, FL 15 52-06 239 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-06 Day 2: 5 15-08 Day 3: 5 15-08
19. John Murray Phoenix, AZ 13 52-01 237 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 22-01 Day 2: 5 17-09 Day 3: 3 12-07
20. Greg Hackney Gonzales, LA 15 51-15 235 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-05 Day 2: 5 15-15 Day 3: 5 21-11
21. Jeff Kriet Ardmore, OK 15 50-09 233 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-10 Day 2: 5 11-15 Day 3: 5 19-00
22. Skeet Reese Auburn, CA 15 48-14 231 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-14 Day 2: 5 16-04 Day 3: 5 13-12
23. Jami Fralick Martin, SD 15 48-13 229 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-10 Day 2: 5 14-15 Day 3: 5 16-04
24. Timmy Horton Muscle Shoals, AL 15 48-10 227 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-06 Day 2: 5 13-02 Day 3: 5 18-02
25. Edwin Evers Talala, OK 15 48-04 225 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-05 Day 2: 5 11-04 Day 3: 5 18-11
26. Aaron Martens Leeds, AL 15 47-13 223 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-15 Day 2: 5 14-00 Day 3: 5 15-14
27. Jason Quinn York, SC 15 47-05 221 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-02 Day 2: 5 17-10 Day 3: 5 15-09
28. Cliff Pace Petal, MS 15 47-01 219 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 13-01 Day 2: 5 17-08 Day 3: 5 16-08
29. Russ Lane Prattville, AL 14 45-13 217 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 13-05 Day 2: 5 22-09 Day 3: 4 09-15
30. Brent Chapman Lake Quivira, KS 15 45-05 215 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-12 Day 2: 5 13-08 Day 3: 5 14-01
31. Marty Robinson Lyman, SC 15 45-03 213 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 11-04 Day 2: 5 15-06 Day 3: 5 18-09
32. Gerald Swindle Warrior, AL 15 45-01 211 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-04 Day 2: 5 14-07 Day 3: 5 14-06
33. Bill Lowen North Bend, OH 15 42-02 209 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 11-13 Day 2: 5 15-06 Day 3: 5 14-15
34. Matthew Sphar Pavilion, NY 15 41-10 207 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-02 Day 2: 5 14-14 Day 3: 5 12-10
35. Dave Wolak Wake Forest, NC 15 41-06 205 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 11-06 Day 2: 5 17-13 Day 3: 5 12-03
36. Ken D Cook Lawton, OK 15 40-06 203 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-07 Day 2: 5 11-06 Day 3: 5 11-09
37. Jeremy Starks Charleston, WV 15 39-07 201 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 12-12 Day 2: 5 15-02 Day 3: 5 11-09
38. Denny Brauer Camdenton, MO 13 38-13 199 $10,000.00
Day 1: 3 12-13 Day 2: 5 14-14 Day 3: 5 11-02
39. Randy Howell Springville, AL 15 38-11 197 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-01 Day 2: 5 12-07 Day 3: 5 12-03
40. Ish Monroe Hughson, CA 12 38-09 195 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 13-14 Day 2: 5 21-01 Day 3: 2 03-10
41. Elton Luce Jr. Brookeland, TX 15 38-07 193 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 11-13 Day 2: 5 15-10 Day 3: 5 11-00
42. Pat Golden High Point, NC 15 38-00 191 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-06 Day 2: 5 12-09 Day 3: 5 11-01
43. Tommy Biffle Wagoner, OK 15 37-12 189 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 12-00 Day 2: 5 14-09 Day 3: 5 11-03
44. Fred Roumbanis Bixby, OK 15 37-07 187 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 13-00 Day 2: 5 15-03 Day 3: 5 09-04
45. Kotaro Kiriyama Moody, AL 15 36-09 185 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-08 Day 2: 5 13-02 Day 3: 5 08-15
46. Mark Menendez Paducah, KY 14 36-07 183 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 13-09 Day 2: 5 14-14 Day 3: 4 08-00
47. Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, MO 11 35-07 181 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 15-09 Day 2: 4 11-09 Day 3: 2 08-05
48. Byron Velvick Del Rio, TX 13 35-04 179 $10,000.00
Day 1: 4 15-08 Day 2: 5 11-03 Day 3: 4 08-09
49. Mark Davis Mount Ida, AR 15 35-00 177 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 15-08 Day 2: 5 11-01 Day 3: 5 08-07
50. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 14 35-00 175 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-03 Day 2: 5 13-10 Day 3: 4 07-03
———————————————————————–

BIG BASS
Day
1 Michael Iaconelli Runnemede, NJ 12-13 $0.00
2 Boyd Duckett Demopolis, AL 09-14 $0.00
3 John Murray Phoenix, AZ 08-11 $0.00
3 Dean Rojas Lake Havasu City, AZ08-11 $0.00

———————————————————————–
Totals
Day #Limits #Fish Weight
1 92 488 1382-06
2 87 473 1344-10
3 43 238 748-05
———————————-
222 1199 3475-05

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